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The Jewish Community of Pasewalk

Pasewalk

A town in the Vorpommern-Greifswald district in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1320; peak Jewish population: 284 in 1861; Jewish population in 1933: 20

During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the city of Pasewalk was the center of Jewish life in the state of Mecklenburg- Vorpommern. Although Jews lived in Pasewalk intermittently from 1320 onwards, it was not until 1820 that an official Jewish community was established there. In 1840, the community built a small synagogue behind a large apartment building; Pasewalk’s Jewish population had doubled by 1850, which necessitated an immediate expansion of the synagogue. In 1930, as a direct result of the swiftly deteriorating political situation, Jews began to leave Pasewalk in large numbers. Nevertheless, the community celebrated its centennial anniversary in 1932. The synagogue’s interior was destroyed on Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), after which the building was set on fire. Eyewitnesses reported that the fire department was sent to the site not to extinguish the fire, but to protect the surrounding houses. On the 50th anniversary of Pogrom Night, the city of Pasewalk unveiled a memorial plaque near the former synagogue site.

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This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

Place Type:
Town
ID Number:
16920998
Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
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Löcknitz 

A village in the Vorpommern-Greifswald district, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany,

First Jewish presence: 19th century; peak Jewish population: 37 in 1925; Jewish population in 1933: unknown

Records suggest that a Jewish family first settled in Loecknitz in the early 19th century. The community, members of which were mainly craftsmen and merchants, never experienced considerable growth. In Loecknitz, Jews established a prayer room on the upper floor of a commercial building, where the rabbi from Pasewalk conducted services three times a year. Local Jews were affiliated with the community in Pasewalk, and it was at the cemetery there that they buried their dead. Beginning in April 1933, Nazis and their supporters often hung boycott posters on Jewish-owned shops. Later, on Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), SA and SS men vandalized the prayer room, smashing windows and burning—this was done outside the building—furniture, books and ritual objects. A Jewish family was assaulted that night. After the beginning of World War II, Jews were sent to a camp located between Prenzlau and Pasewalk. In February 1940, most local Jews were deported to the Nazi concentration and extermination camps in Eastern Europe. At least 18 Loecknitz Jews were murdered in the Shoah. In 1988, a memorial stele was unveiled at the site of the former prayer room. The stele was desecrated several times during 2003, as a result of which it was replaced, in 2010, with a commemorative stone; the stone, too, was vandalized in 2011.

--------------------------------------------

This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

Torgelow

A municipality in the Vorpommern-Greifswald district in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany.

Torgelow was mentioned for the first time in 1281 when the Brandenburg Margrave Otto IV signed a document at the Castle Torgelow. At the beginning of the 18th century, Torgelow became well-known when iron was found in the area; thereupon King Frederick II (Prussia) issued the founding document for the establishment of an iron and steel plant in 1753 and Torgelow developed into an industrial village.

Not much is known about Torgelow's Jewish history. However, it is documented that 21 Jews lived in Torgelow in 1910 and 14 (constituting 0.2% of total population) in 1925. They joined the community in Ueckermuende, which was approximately 12 km away from the village. A statute of the Ueckermuende Jewish community (1860) indicated that several small villages in the region, such as Torgelow, Altwarp, Neuwarp, and Eggesin, were affiliated with the synagogue district. According to several sources, a synagogue existed in Torgelow at least in the 1930s. No Jewish cemetery has been documented.

In 1933, nine Jews resided in the town. Among them was the businessman and clothier Julius Gronemann, who participated in the volunteer fire brigade and served as its secretary until the Nazis' assumption of power. Gronemann ran a textile store at 1 Wilhelmstrasse. Later, under the Nazi rulers’ pressure, he leased his shop to his former employee Wilhelm Koerner, member of the NSDAP, in 1934. As in many German towns and cities, the Nazis' anti-Jewish boycott was also implemented in Torgelow in April 1933. A former female employer of Julius Gronemann wrote to his great-grandson about the harassments at 1 Wilhelmstrasse: "… Nazi stormtroopers stood in front of the shop telling the customers … that the shopkeeper was Jewish and told them to buy at an Aryan shop. Although some of the customers turned on their heels, the majority weren’t put off and said they had been buying at Mr. Gronemann’s shop for years and they wouldn’t dream of shunning it. It was a very hard time for the old man so he decided to sell his shop by the end of 1933. Unfortunately I don’t know if it was an ordinary sale or already a kind of expropriation."

On Pogrom Night on November 9, 1938, the synagogue was burnt, as documented by the historian Wolfgang Wilhelmus. A day later, on November 10th, NS officials reported that the windows of a Jewish-owned shop had been smashed. During the entire Nazi era, Torgelow's few Jews were harassed, persecuted and forced to leave for other German cities. Some emigrated to Palestine, Belgium, South America and Shanghai. Julius Gronemann moved to Stettin, from where he was deported. On his last postcard to his children he wrote: "We'll be deported to Poland and we know our destiny." At least four local Jews were murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau and apparently in other Nazi concentration camps in the eastern Europe.

---------------------------------------

This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

Anklam

A town in the Vorpommern-Greifswald district in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany, formerly known as Tanglim and Wendenburg.

First Jewish presence: mid-1300s; peak Jewish population: 311 in 1861; Jewish population in 1933: 43

Jews lived in Anklam from the mid-1300s until the Black Death pogroms, when they were burned at the stake. In 1712, at which point Anklam was under Swedish rule, the authorities issued a ban on Jewish settlement. All bans were annulled in 1812, after which Jews began to return to Anklam. By 1817, a Jewish community had been founded, complete with a prayer room, a cemetery and a school. In order to accommodate the growing community, a synagogue was built and inaugurated in 1841. As a token of gratitude to the local count who granted permission to build the synagogue, the community mounted his portrait on the wall of the synagogue’s foyer. Anti-Semitism became a real problem for Anklam Jews in early 1933 and by 1935 the situation was almost intolerable. Although the synagogue was set on fire on Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), it did not burn down completely, and was subsequently used for grain storage. A small plaque was later unveiled at the synagogue site.

------------------------------------------

This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

Szczecin

German: Stettin

The capital of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland. Until 1945 it was part of Germany.

Szczecin is a major seaport located near the Baltic Sea. The city became part of Poland in 1945; previously it was part of Prussia.

Jewish memorials in Szczecin include a plaque located on a wall where the synagogue once stood before it was destroyed during the Kristallnacht pogrom. Additionally, a monument is located in the park that was once a Jewish cemetery before it was destroyed by the local authorities.

In 2007 there were 62 Jews living in Szczecin. The community was led by Mikolaj Rozen. The community center includes a prayer house, as well as a kosher kitchen.

HISTORY

Jews are first mentioned in Szczecin in a 1261 charter, though it is likely that they had been living in the town beforehand. However, in 1492 the Jews were expelled from the region of Pomerania, and it was only in the 17th century that Jews began to return to Szczecin.

Jews were sometimes employed at the Prussian mint in Szczecin; in 1753 the medalist Jacob Abraham of Strelitz worked there as a die cutter, while Moses Isaak and Daniel Itzig supplied the mint with silver. Nonetheless, the Jews were denied the right to permanent residence within Szczecin throughout the18th century. It was only beginning in 1812 that a new Jewish community was established.

In 1818 there were 18 Jews living in Szczecin, including the Hebrew grammarian Chayyim b. Naphtali Koeslin; by 1840 the Jewish population had increased to 381. The first synagogue was built in 1834.

The community continued to grow; a major contributing factor was an increase in immigration from Poznan (German: Posen) and west Prussia. The Jewish population reached 1,823 in 1871.

The growing population prompted the community to establish a number of necessary religious and cultural institutions. A new synagogue was dedicated in 1875 and could hold 900 men and 750 women; an organ was introduced in 1910. Beginning in1867 the community also had an Orthodox prayer room. A cemetery was dedicated in 1821. Szczecin had a printing press that printed Jewish books and later, in 1929 a Jewish newspaper began to be published; by 1935 it had a circulation of 1,200. A religious school was established in 1850. Szczecin was also home to a number of political, cultural, and sports organizations.

The Jewish population increased to 2,757 in 1910. In 1930 the Jewish population was 2,703; in 1933 it was 2,365.

The following rabbis served the Jewish community of Szczecin: W.A Meisel (1843-1859), Abraham Treuenfels (1860-79), Heinemann Vogelstein (1880-1911), Max Wiener (1912-1926), Max Elk (1926-1935), and K. Richter (1936-38). The community's last rabbi was H. Finkelscherer, who served from 1938 until the deportation in 1940, when he perished with his community.

On the eve of World War II the community maintained an orphanage and an old-age home, as well as numerous charitable organizations. A Talmud Torah was opened in 1930. In 1934, after the Talmud Torah was closed by the authorities, the community established a Jewish elementary school.

THE HOLOCAUST

A number of Jews left Szczecin after the Nazi rise to power, and particularly after the Kristallnacht pogrom when the synagogue was destroyed, and many of the Jewish men were arrested and briefly sent to concentration camps. During the night of February 11-12, 1940 the Jews who remained in Szczecin were deported together with other Pomeranian Jews to Belzyce, Glusk, and Piaski. From these locations a number of Jews were deported to other areas, while those who remained were killed in Belzyce on October 28, 1942.

POSTWAR

Szczecin became part of Poland after World War II, at which point a number of Jews from Poland settled in the city. A new community was organized, and by 1959 it counted 1,050 members. In 1962 two Jewish cooperatives were active, as well as a school and a prayer house. However, the majority of Szczecin's Jews left after the Six Day War in June 1967.

The Jewish cemetery was closed in 1962. During the 1980s the city authorities made the decision to create a park where the cemetery was located; bodies that had been buried in the past 20 years were exhumed and moved to the Jewish section of the municipal cemetery, while the other gravestones were removed. A monument was established in the park commemorating the Jewish cemetery.

In the year 2000 there were approximately 140 Jews living in Szczecin, most of whom were elderly.

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The Jewish Community of Pasewalk

Pasewalk

A town in the Vorpommern-Greifswald district in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Germany.

First Jewish presence: 1320; peak Jewish population: 284 in 1861; Jewish population in 1933: 20

During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the city of Pasewalk was the center of Jewish life in the state of Mecklenburg- Vorpommern. Although Jews lived in Pasewalk intermittently from 1320 onwards, it was not until 1820 that an official Jewish community was established there. In 1840, the community built a small synagogue behind a large apartment building; Pasewalk’s Jewish population had doubled by 1850, which necessitated an immediate expansion of the synagogue. In 1930, as a direct result of the swiftly deteriorating political situation, Jews began to leave Pasewalk in large numbers. Nevertheless, the community celebrated its centennial anniversary in 1932. The synagogue’s interior was destroyed on Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), after which the building was set on fire. Eyewitnesses reported that the fire department was sent to the site not to extinguish the fire, but to protect the surrounding houses. On the 50th anniversary of Pogrom Night, the city of Pasewalk unveiled a memorial plaque near the former synagogue site.

---------------------------------------------

This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People

Szczecin
Anklam
Torgelow
Loecknitz

Szczecin

German: Stettin

The capital of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland. Until 1945 it was part of Germany.

Szczecin is a major seaport located near the Baltic Sea. The city became part of Poland in 1945; previously it was part of Prussia.

Jewish memorials in Szczecin include a plaque located on a wall where the synagogue once stood before it was destroyed during the Kristallnacht pogrom. Additionally, a monument is located in the park that was once a Jewish cemetery before it was destroyed by the local authorities.

In 2007 there were 62 Jews living in Szczecin. The community was led by Mikolaj Rozen. The community center includes a prayer house, as well as a kosher kitchen.

HISTORY

Jews are first mentioned in Szczecin in a 1261 charter, though it is likely that they had been living in the town beforehand. However, in 1492 the Jews were expelled from the region of Pomerania, and it was only in the 17th century that Jews began to return to Szczecin.

Jews were sometimes employed at the Prussian mint in Szczecin; in 1753 the medalist Jacob Abraham of Strelitz worked there as a die cutter, while Moses Isaak and Daniel Itzig supplied the mint with silver. Nonetheless, the Jews were denied the right to permanent residence within Szczecin throughout the18th century. It was only beginning in 1812 that a new Jewish community was established.

In 1818 there were 18 Jews living in Szczecin, including the Hebrew grammarian Chayyim b. Naphtali Koeslin; by 1840 the Jewish population had increased to 381. The first synagogue was built in 1834.

The community continued to grow; a major contributing factor was an increase in immigration from Poznan (German: Posen) and west Prussia. The Jewish population reached 1,823 in 1871.

The growing population prompted the community to establish a number of necessary religious and cultural institutions. A new synagogue was dedicated in 1875 and could hold 900 men and 750 women; an organ was introduced in 1910. Beginning in1867 the community also had an Orthodox prayer room. A cemetery was dedicated in 1821. Szczecin had a printing press that printed Jewish books and later, in 1929 a Jewish newspaper began to be published; by 1935 it had a circulation of 1,200. A religious school was established in 1850. Szczecin was also home to a number of political, cultural, and sports organizations.

The Jewish population increased to 2,757 in 1910. In 1930 the Jewish population was 2,703; in 1933 it was 2,365.

The following rabbis served the Jewish community of Szczecin: W.A Meisel (1843-1859), Abraham Treuenfels (1860-79), Heinemann Vogelstein (1880-1911), Max Wiener (1912-1926), Max Elk (1926-1935), and K. Richter (1936-38). The community's last rabbi was H. Finkelscherer, who served from 1938 until the deportation in 1940, when he perished with his community.

On the eve of World War II the community maintained an orphanage and an old-age home, as well as numerous charitable organizations. A Talmud Torah was opened in 1930. In 1934, after the Talmud Torah was closed by the authorities, the community established a Jewish elementary school.

THE HOLOCAUST

A number of Jews left Szczecin after the Nazi rise to power, and particularly after the Kristallnacht pogrom when the synagogue was destroyed, and many of the Jewish men were arrested and briefly sent to concentration camps. During the night of February 11-12, 1940 the Jews who remained in Szczecin were deported together with other Pomeranian Jews to Belzyce, Glusk, and Piaski. From these locations a number of Jews were deported to other areas, while those who remained were killed in Belzyce on October 28, 1942.

POSTWAR

Szczecin became part of Poland after World War II, at which point a number of Jews from Poland settled in the city. A new community was organized, and by 1959 it counted 1,050 members. In 1962 two Jewish cooperatives were active, as well as a school and a prayer house. However, the majority of Szczecin's Jews left after the Six Day War in June 1967.

The Jewish cemetery was closed in 1962. During the 1980s the city authorities made the decision to create a park where the cemetery was located; bodies that had been buried in the past 20 years were exhumed and moved to the Jewish section of the municipal cemetery, while the other gravestones were removed. A monument was established in the park commemorating the Jewish cemetery.

In the year 2000 there were approximately 140 Jews living in Szczecin, most of whom were elderly.

Anklam

A town in the Vorpommern-Greifswald district in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany, formerly known as Tanglim and Wendenburg.

First Jewish presence: mid-1300s; peak Jewish population: 311 in 1861; Jewish population in 1933: 43

Jews lived in Anklam from the mid-1300s until the Black Death pogroms, when they were burned at the stake. In 1712, at which point Anklam was under Swedish rule, the authorities issued a ban on Jewish settlement. All bans were annulled in 1812, after which Jews began to return to Anklam. By 1817, a Jewish community had been founded, complete with a prayer room, a cemetery and a school. In order to accommodate the growing community, a synagogue was built and inaugurated in 1841. As a token of gratitude to the local count who granted permission to build the synagogue, the community mounted his portrait on the wall of the synagogue’s foyer. Anti-Semitism became a real problem for Anklam Jews in early 1933 and by 1935 the situation was almost intolerable. Although the synagogue was set on fire on Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), it did not burn down completely, and was subsequently used for grain storage. A small plaque was later unveiled at the synagogue site.

------------------------------------------

This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

Torgelow

A municipality in the Vorpommern-Greifswald district in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany.

Torgelow was mentioned for the first time in 1281 when the Brandenburg Margrave Otto IV signed a document at the Castle Torgelow. At the beginning of the 18th century, Torgelow became well-known when iron was found in the area; thereupon King Frederick II (Prussia) issued the founding document for the establishment of an iron and steel plant in 1753 and Torgelow developed into an industrial village.

Not much is known about Torgelow's Jewish history. However, it is documented that 21 Jews lived in Torgelow in 1910 and 14 (constituting 0.2% of total population) in 1925. They joined the community in Ueckermuende, which was approximately 12 km away from the village. A statute of the Ueckermuende Jewish community (1860) indicated that several small villages in the region, such as Torgelow, Altwarp, Neuwarp, and Eggesin, were affiliated with the synagogue district. According to several sources, a synagogue existed in Torgelow at least in the 1930s. No Jewish cemetery has been documented.

In 1933, nine Jews resided in the town. Among them was the businessman and clothier Julius Gronemann, who participated in the volunteer fire brigade and served as its secretary until the Nazis' assumption of power. Gronemann ran a textile store at 1 Wilhelmstrasse. Later, under the Nazi rulers’ pressure, he leased his shop to his former employee Wilhelm Koerner, member of the NSDAP, in 1934. As in many German towns and cities, the Nazis' anti-Jewish boycott was also implemented in Torgelow in April 1933. A former female employer of Julius Gronemann wrote to his great-grandson about the harassments at 1 Wilhelmstrasse: "… Nazi stormtroopers stood in front of the shop telling the customers … that the shopkeeper was Jewish and told them to buy at an Aryan shop. Although some of the customers turned on their heels, the majority weren’t put off and said they had been buying at Mr. Gronemann’s shop for years and they wouldn’t dream of shunning it. It was a very hard time for the old man so he decided to sell his shop by the end of 1933. Unfortunately I don’t know if it was an ordinary sale or already a kind of expropriation."

On Pogrom Night on November 9, 1938, the synagogue was burnt, as documented by the historian Wolfgang Wilhelmus. A day later, on November 10th, NS officials reported that the windows of a Jewish-owned shop had been smashed. During the entire Nazi era, Torgelow's few Jews were harassed, persecuted and forced to leave for other German cities. Some emigrated to Palestine, Belgium, South America and Shanghai. Julius Gronemann moved to Stettin, from where he was deported. On his last postcard to his children he wrote: "We'll be deported to Poland and we know our destiny." At least four local Jews were murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau and apparently in other Nazi concentration camps in the eastern Europe.

---------------------------------------

This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.

Löcknitz 

A village in the Vorpommern-Greifswald district, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany,

First Jewish presence: 19th century; peak Jewish population: 37 in 1925; Jewish population in 1933: unknown

Records suggest that a Jewish family first settled in Loecknitz in the early 19th century. The community, members of which were mainly craftsmen and merchants, never experienced considerable growth. In Loecknitz, Jews established a prayer room on the upper floor of a commercial building, where the rabbi from Pasewalk conducted services three times a year. Local Jews were affiliated with the community in Pasewalk, and it was at the cemetery there that they buried their dead. Beginning in April 1933, Nazis and their supporters often hung boycott posters on Jewish-owned shops. Later, on Pogrom Night (Nov. 9, 1938), SA and SS men vandalized the prayer room, smashing windows and burning—this was done outside the building—furniture, books and ritual objects. A Jewish family was assaulted that night. After the beginning of World War II, Jews were sent to a camp located between Prenzlau and Pasewalk. In February 1940, most local Jews were deported to the Nazi concentration and extermination camps in Eastern Europe. At least 18 Loecknitz Jews were murdered in the Shoah. In 1988, a memorial stele was unveiled at the site of the former prayer room. The stele was desecrated several times during 2003, as a result of which it was replaced, in 2010, with a commemorative stone; the stone, too, was vandalized in 2011.

--------------------------------------------

This entry was originally published on Beit Ashkenaz - Destroyed German Synagogues and Communities website and contributed to the Database of the Museum of the Jewish People courtesy of Beit Ashkenaz.